Working Remotely vs. Working In-Office: Things to Consider
Over the past 5 years or so, there has been a noticeable increase in remote work options within many organizations across many industries. This increase in working from home was accelerated significantly by the COVID-19 pandemic that swept across the world throughout 2020, and continues to impact businesses in 2021.
Suddenly, even organizations that had not allowed or even considered remote work were forced to find solutions in order to keep their employees safe and their companies on track. Working from home became a necessity for an extended period of time.
Now, as the pandemic is winding down and restrictions are being lifted, many companies are exploring their options when it comes to establishing remote work policies and practices for the foreseeable future.
Here, we’ll explore the pros and cons of working remotely and working in-office so you can weigh the options and find a solution that works best for your business.
Advantages of Working Remotely
As many employees and employers have discovered, there are dozens of advantages to remote work, including:
Better work/life balance
Decreased office drama
Increased competitiveness with other companies that allow remote work
Higher employee retention
These advantages have made it tempting for many employers to continue allowing – and even encouraging – remote work, even after it’s no longer necessary due to the pandemic.
Disadvantages of Working Remotely
That being said, there are some disadvantages to remote work as well, including:
Possibility for increased distraction
Blurring of line between personal and professional life
Challenges with communication
Lack of sufficient work space
Decreased employee visibility
Lack of community and organizational culture
Challenges with communication
Management and accountability challenges
While it seems that the advantages of allowing remote work do outweigh the disadvantages in many cases, especially for employees, for some organizations the downsides of remote work have made it tempting to require the entire team to return to the office. And, truth be told, it’s unlikely that offices as we know them are going to disappear, despite the shift towards remote work.
Advantages of Working In-Office
With that in mind, here are some of the key benefits of working in-office:
Possibility for fewer distractions
Clearer line between work and home responsibilities
In-person communication between team members
Easier collaboration (and opportunities for impromptu collaboration)
Easier access to management
Increased ability to network
Increased employee visibility
Easier to cultivate workplace culture
Easier access to employees
Disadvantages of Working In-Office
Although in-office work has been the norm for decades, there are some notable potential disadvantages to this type of workplace set-up.
Time consuming commute
More structured schedule/decreased flexibility
Ineffective office set-up
Lack of privacy
Increased noise and interruption
Encourages sedentary lifestyle
Increased overhead costs
Less competitive when compared to employers who allow remote work
Decreased employee retention
The Ideal Solution?
So what’s the ideal solution when it comes to working remotely vs. working in-office? The truth is that the ideal solution differs for each and every organization. In fact, for some organizations, a mix between the two is the way to go.
It’s important to weigh the pros and cons of working and meeting in-person vs. virtually for your specific business (and the employees who work for it) to find the solution that works best for your company. Don’t be afraid to give something a try. You may find that what’s best for your business in terms of how and where people work isn’t what you’d expected.